As summer road trip season approaches, Australia’s motoring industry is urging families to ask if genuine parts will be used in their pre-trip servicing to ensure cars are properly prepared for their holiday journey.

Investigations by industry campaign Genuine is Best have revealed a thriving black market of counterfeit parts that appear near-identical to the genuine but are appalling in quality and performance, and many of these fakes have made their way into vehicles without owners being aware.

 Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Chief Executive Tony Weber said that high summer temperatures, increased traffic density and lengthy holiday drives can place a strain on vehicles and their mechanical systems. However, with the assurance of using genuine parts, a car is fit for the purpose.

 “The family car is the common method of getting to and from a holiday destination over the Christmas break. Families are on the road more, often taking longer trips, often towing a trailer, boat or caravan,” he said.

 “Our tests have shown quite clearly that non-genuine and counterfeit part quality may cause damage to your engine and in some cases, risk occupant and pedestrian safety.

 “A pre-trip service using genuine parts is the best insurance against mechanical maladies. Use a counterfeit oil filter and your holidays may finish on the side of the road.

 “The best advice is that when you drop the car off for service is to ask for genuine parts. Genuine parts may sometimes cost slightly more, but that investment might make a huge difference to your holiday break.

 “It just isn’t worth the risk. And using an authorised supply chain provides assurance on genuine parts.”

 In a test conducted this year by Genuine Is Best, counterfeit oil filters were found to have a bypass valve failure that allowed dirty oil to wash unfiltered through the engine, greatly increasing engine wear and probable damage. Similarly, non-genuine replacement bonnets used by repairers to save money on smash repairs had a much higher risk of the safety retaining mechanism failing, and the bonnet flying up at highway speeds.

European testing by Mercedes-Benz demonstrated counterfeit suspension tie-rods snapping during emergency brake and swerve-to-avoid situations. Counterfeit Mercedes-Benz rims, offered for sale in Australia by a local online supplier, shattered in a controlled 50km/h pothole test, replicating the type of impacts often encountered on rural holiday roads.

These test outcomes and the video evidence are available at www.genuineisbest.com.au. The Genuine Is Best website also features six steps to staying genuine, instant expert repair inspection tips and the essential crash survival guide.

 About Genuine Is Best

The FCAI’s Genuine Is Best initiative focuses on the safety, performance and durability benefits delivered by genuine replacement parts.

Genuine parts are made or selected by the vehicle’s maker and rigorously tested by that maker as an integral component of the vehicle to meet high quality, safety and performance standards.

This ensures a vehicle will drive, function and protect in the way it was intended.

If a vehicle needs replacement parts following a collision or during servicing and maintenance, it is essential that genuine parts are fitted. You can only guarantee supply of genuine parts by sourcing them through the vehicle maker’s authorised supply chain. Use anything else and you may be taking a risk.

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